Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The new year looks like it will kick off chilly and dry.
- LOCAL CONNECTIONS
- Ben Gross
Tuesday, January 1
Twenty-twelve was a wild year for weather in the Washington metropolitan region. On June 29, the derecho terrorized the area, forcing President Obama to declare Montgomery County a disaster area. In the fall, while we were spared the major brunt, Hurricane Sandy caused widespread flooding, downed trees, food and supply shortages at local stores and numerous school, government and activity cancellations and postponements. Those two weather events may have been the most memorable, but according to WJLA's website, a number of weather records were set in 2012: How does the forecast for the start of 2013 look? Look for New Year's Eve temperatures in the mid-30s, with only a 20 percent chance of precipitation overnight. New Year's Day should…
Friday, October 26, 2012
The Maryland Public Service Commission today eliminated the storm bill stabilization 24-hour grace period.
Effectively immediately, Pepco and BGE customers will not be charged for sales lost during the first 24 hours of major storm power outages, by order of the Maryland Public Service Commission. Area residents this summer were outraged to find themselves charged for power during the weeklong outages caused by the June 29 derecho. The charges came as part of a Bill Stabilization Adjustment program, which allowed utilities to bill customers for the first 24 hours after a power outage, effectively charging customers for power when they have none. The program was designed to increase efficiency, according to the commission. Friday's orders, affecting Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, Delmarva Power and Light Company, Potomac Electric Power …
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Critics say Pepco response was too slow. Supporters say critics are unrealistic.
Prince George's County residents had their opportunity to tell the Maryland Public Service Commission just how they thought Pepco handled the response to last month's derecho. The night before, PSC officials endured a four-hour meeting in Rockville. That meeting saw a full house of residents registering their anger with the power company. Afterwards, Jerry Pasternak, Pepco regional vice president for Maryland affairs, told reporters that he understood the outrage expressed by customers before the PSC. But last night's hearing at Prince George's Community College in Largo saw fewer people testifying before the PSC. While many expressed frustration and anger at Pepco's performance following the derecho and over the past few years, some …
Friday, July 20, 2012
The increase will raise a household's monthly electricity bill by about $2, according to a statement issued by the Maryland Public Service Commission.
Of the $68 million rate increase requested by Pepco, the Maryland Public Service Commission has rejected $50 million. Still, the $18 million rate increase "translates into a $2.02 typical residential monthly bill impact" (a 1.69 percent increase), according to a statement issued by the Maryland Public Service Commission on Friday afternoon. In the rejection order, the commission "noted its overall dissatisfaction with Pepco’s performance, and characterized its request to increase returns to shareholders 'before Pepco corrects its sub-par performance' as 'backwards,' " according to the statement. Pepco filed the request on Dec. 16, 2011. "The full record in the case included testimony from 31 witnesses and 11 days of evidentiary hearings, …
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Pepco and BGE will reportedly be able to charge a fee for losses suffered when power was out to hundreds of thousands after the June 29 storm.
Pepco and BGE are allowed to recoup some of the money lost after the severe storm June 29 by charging a fee to be paid by customers who were without power, 9 News Now reported. "It's the law," Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey told 9 News Now. "It's called bill stabilization." "The storm adjustment kicks in automatically," Maryland Public Service Commission spokeswoman Regina Davis told 9 News Now. "The BSA (Bill Stabilization Adjustment) is calculated and applied by the companies, but checked by PSC staff and we make the utilities correct it if they get it wrong." The storm adjustment only covers the first 24 hours after the initial power outage, however—not the entire outage. According to Pepco's website, "The BSA is a monthly adjustment that…
Monday, July 9, 2012
Dozens call state attorney general to question price rip-offs following the derecho.
The Office of the Attorney General has received dozens of calls and e-mails about price gouging in the aftermath of the June 29 storm, but so far only four formal complaints have been filed. Most of the incidents reported are about gas stations boosting prices, but some also are about hotel prices post-storm, according to AG spokesman Alan Brody. Brody said as of Friday at noon, only four official complaints were filed by consumers. Those complaints originated with businesses in Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties, Brody noted. Three cases have already been closed. Complaints were filed against the Exxon on Forest Drive in Annapolis, a Shell on Bestgate Road and an Exxon in Upper Marlboro. The final complaint was against a hotel …
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Some gas stations saw long lines of cars over the weekend, while others suffered losses and continue to wait for power to return.
Friday night’s storm affected Maryland residents and business owners in different ways, but just about everyone felt the need to get a full tank of gas. Over the weekend, gas stations that had power were flooded with cars looking for both gas and ice. Jim Kurtz, the owner of a Takoma Park Shell station on New Hampshire Avenue, said his station saw a tremendous increase in drivers looking to get gas on Saturday and Sunday. “We had lines down the street all day Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “We usually use around four tankers of gas (8,800 gallons each) during the week, and last week we used six.” Kurtz said the station ran out of gas on Saturday by around 6 p.m., was refueled Sunday morning and ran out again by Sunday night. He says he…
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Federal employees have the option of taking unscheduled leave or doing unscheduled telework, the Office of Personnel Management said.
It's back to work on Thursday for federal employees. On July 5, federal agencies in the Washington, DC, area will be open, the Office of Personnel Management reported. Employees, however, have the option of taking unscheduled leave or doing unscheduled telework, the OPM added.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
As many in Montgomery and Prince George's counties remain in the dark, group wants to know why it's taking so long.
Officials from AARP Maryland want utility companies held accountable for the lack of communication and slow response time in recovering from the weekend power outages. Although almost 75 percent of Maryland residents have had their power restored, many remain in the dark, including some with the greatest need for power — the elderly. The death toll from the derecho storm and subsequent power outages in Maryland on June 29 has reach eight, according to Gov. Martin O’ Malley. Of the seven deaths, four were heat-related, O’Malley reported Tuesday. He said the elderly were particularly vulnerable. More heat-related deaths are expected as crews slowly restore power to the state, said Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental …
Bring your brush, tree limbs, and damaged items to the county's waste management facilities by Friday.
Friday's violent storm system left behind untold tons of debris across the region, from fallen trees and broken branches to shattered glass and scrap metal. If you're one of the many Prince George's residents who have yet to clear away the wreckage, there's a bit of good news: You'll be able to drop off storm-related debris for free at the county's waste disposal facilities through this Friday, July 6. At the Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill (11611 White House Rd., Upper Marlboro), residents can drop off brush, tree limbs, roofing materials, siding, and other damaged household items between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. At the Prince George’s County Yard Waste Composting Facility (6601 E. Crain Hwy., Upper Marlboro), residents can drop off …